Hey, Look! – An Evening Of Photographic Inspiration With Jay Maisel

Join us for a special evening as Santa Fe Workshops’ Creativity Continues online with two master photographers, Jay Maisel in conversation with John Paul Caponigro.

In this special hour dedicated to savoring the sensual act of seeing, Jay will present a selection of his images and thoughts, followed by lively question and answer sessions, first with John Paul, then with special guests, and finally you. Bring your questions and something to take notes with; the insights will flow fast.

Jay Maisel is hailed as one of the most gifted photographers of all time. A hero and a teacher, countless photographers feel he changed and still changes the ways they see. He’s a living legend whose work is studied around the world and whose presentations garner standing ovations every time he takes the stage.

 

Event Postponed Until 2023

Wednesday, October 26 from 6-7 MT / 8-9:30 EST

Register now for this free special event here!

Sign Up For Insights for announcements.

Get Jay Maisel’s inspiring biweekly collections here.

How To Strike Up A Lively Conversation With Your Images

Decades ago, my friend Jeff Schewe asked me, “We both know how to do a lot of things to our images but how do you decide what to do to your images?” My response surprised him, “Talk with them.” Let me expand on that for you, as I did for him so many years ago.

We often deepen our relationship with other people by having a conversation with them. We can do the same with images. Even though they don’t speak, we can speak for them. There are many ways to do this.

Write

Before I go into more detail, let me offer you a crucial piece of advice. Make sure you write this stuff down as you go. You won’t be able to remember everything you come up with and the act of writing will allow you to come back to it and pick up where you left off, help you find more insights, forge deeper connections, and increase the chances that you’ll act on it.  All of these benefits happen more strongly when you write by hand but that’s slower and not as easily retrieved, so more often than not, I use the notes app on my phone, which can be accessed from any of my devices. I recommend you try many ways of taking notes to determine which ways work better for you.

Conversations start with questions. Ask a lot of questions. Then answer them as if you were the image. Write that down.

Ask Questions

Conversations start with questions. Ask a lot of questions. Ask way more questions than you ever thought to ask. I usually set my goal at 100. Why? The goal of this exercise is to get beyond the obvious and the conventional. Sure, ask those questions too but go well beyond them. Ask the kinds of “crazy” questions kids ask. (What does this image eat?) Pretend you’re someone or something else and ask the questions he/she/they/it might ask. (If you’re the frame … Who put these things in me? And why did they put me here?) Imagine you are the work of art and ask the questions it would ask if it could. (What do I have to do to stay out of that closet?) The skill of asking more questions gets easier if you simply rephrase the same question in different ways to get different perspectives. Change the w word – who, what, when, why, where, how. (What is this about? How does it go about it? Who goes there?) Reverse questions; ask the opposite question. (Why is it lower? Why isn’t it lower? Why isn’t it higher?) Or, add not to any question. (Is it dark? Is it not dark?) Once you have your list of questions scan it for patterns. What kinds of questions did you ask? What did you ask questions about most frequently? What questions stand out as most interesting? Asking questions may be all you need to do to find useful insights. Answers are optional. I recommend hypothesizing what they are and to look for opportunities to answer a single question in more than one way. Remember, write it down. You can revisit your list later and you’ll most likely have a different perspective with different outcomes. You can also repurpose many of the questions in your list to use with other images. This is a skill that gets easier over time. Make asking a lot of questions a habit.

Imagine that you’re the image.

If I were you, what would I do? 

If I were you, what would I feel?

If I were you, what would I want?

If I were you, what would I think?

(You can expand these questions by adding “about ___” at the end and filling in the blank.)

Walk a mile in your mind with your images. Just treating your images as if they are sentient creatures will instantly make you feel more connected to them, which will show in your final results, and people who see your images will be drawn closer to them because of that quality.

I recommend you do this more than once at different times. Your moods, influences, and perspectives are constantly shifting, sometimes only a little, sometimes a lot. In fact, practicing these internal conversations is one way of proactively influencing your internal flow. (And yes, we all have a mind-body connection.)

Associate

Let’s talk about you. When you look at an image … 

What emotions do you feel? What’s the mix?

How does your body feel when you look at it? Where?

What memories does it bring up? What’s the connection?

What other images do you think are related to it? Why?

What other things does it remind you of? 

What single words and phrases would you use to describe it? 

Make a list of nouns. What is it of?

Make a list of verbs. What is it doing?

Make a list of adjectives. What qualities do the things and actions possess?

In these kinds of … call them exercises or studies or research sessions … it’s supremely important not to judge or censor yourself. This will stunt the growth of this process, your growth. Write it all down. Nothing is too ridiculous. In fact, if you don’t let a good dose of that irrational stuff out you won’t find as much magic. For the moment, stop making sense. Make sensitivity. Let your inner child out to play with wild abandon. You can clean up your room later.

Ask why five times.

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Two Generations Talk : Paul & John Paul Caponigro – Online MMW

Receive this ebook free.       26 images – 26 quotes

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Recorded May 10, 2022 – 1 PM EST

 

Two Generations In Conversation, an afternoon with father Paul Caponigro and son John Paul Caponigro cohosted by Maine Media Workshops. During this captivating hour, the Caponigros, after a brief viewing of images, will share their thoughts about the soul of photography, the joys of printing, and how the two are related. Then we’ll finish our program with a lively question and answer session open to all participants.

Enjoy this shorter video as either an appetizer or a dessert.

Over The Threshold – A Creative Conversation With Sean Kernan

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Over The Threshold – A Conversation On Creativity With John Paul Caponigro and Sean Kernan

During this inspiring hour, John Paul and Sean share images, thoughts, and provocations for themselves and viewers. A lively question and answer session brings this free program to completion.

At some point, all photographers sense their best and truest work lies at a point somewhere out beyond the threshold of their comfort. The question then becomes how to get there.

John Paul Caponigro and Sean Kernan, long-time friends, approach creativity in different ways, but they both head for the same transformative experience. During this conversation, they share personal stories of moments that changed their art and their lives. Meditation, playing music, acting, drawing, and writing are just a few of the practices they use to make room for the revelations that improvisation brings. They offer insights into moving beyond habitual practices and making space for the unknown, which is where the magic of the creative process happens.

Read Sean Kernan’s quick Q&A here.

Read our conversation for Camera Arts here. 

View more video with Sean Kernan here. 

View more Creativity Continues events at The Santa Fe Workshops.

Visit Sean Kernan’s website here.